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Windows 10 updates for Office 365 admins

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What capabilities in Windows 10 will benefit Office 365 admins? During the Microsoft Ignite conference in May, we invited Michael Niehaus—veteran Windows deployment and management expert—to present updates for managing Windows 10. Many of these updates accrue to and leverage the work people are doing to implement Office 365 and broader Microsoft Cloud services.

In this week’s Office Mechanics, we describe three areas where IT admins can benefit from Windows, Office and Azure Active Directory integration:

  • Joining Windows 10 to Azure Active Directory for single sign-on (SSO) to Office 365 and other services.
  • Using the Business Store portal in Windows Store to deliver Office apps.
  • Adding Windows 10 devices to Mobile Device Management for Office 365.

Joining Azure Active Directory

Most organizations using Office 365 with an on-premises Active Directory (AD) will synchronize their directory with Azure AD. We’ve covered the options for directory sync, password hash sync and federation on previous shows. The great news with Windows 10 is that it can join Azure AD to enable single sign-on (SSO) to Azure AD-integrated services. On the show Michael Niehaus demonstrates the first run experience in Windows 10 to join Azure AD and automatically enroll in Mobile Device Management. To find out more about this, check out Jim Alkove’s Windows 10 and Azure AD: Embracing the Cloud blog or try it out.

Business Store portal in Windows Store

We’ve recently launched the Office Mobile apps for Windows 10, and the Business Store portal will be available this fall—enabling organizations to acquire, distribute and manage software in the store for users. The Business Store portal works with Azure AD for authentication as well. Organizations will be able to distribute software—including Office Mobile—using built-in simple tools, via integration with popular software distribution and management solutions, or as a third option through an organization-managed private section in the Windows Store app accessible only by employees. Michael Niehaus demonstrates the Business Store portal on the show, and you can find out more in Todd Brix’s Distributing Windows apps to the world blog post. Keep checking back to the Windows Blog for more news about the Business Store portal.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365

Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365 was launched a few months ago as part of Office 365. Windows 10 PCs and devices can be enrolled in MDM. This is an additional option for Windows management—introduced in Windows 8.1—allowing admins to use the same lightweight management technique with desktops, laptops and tablets as they use for other mobile devices. Windows 10 combined with Microsoft Intune will extend management capabilities even further. In the show, I demonstrate how to enroll a Windows 10 tablet into MDM for Office 365, and you can find out more in Jim Alkove’s Windows 10: Manageability Choices blog post.

More to come

These are a small selection of capabilities that impact Office 365 admins, and there is much more to come. There are several improvements coming to Windows 10 deployment as well. Keep checking back at the Windows and Office blogs for more information—and try out the new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10.

See you next week!

—Jeremy Chapman

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